Caroline Sunshine: LaTeen Magazine Fall Feature
A Warm Ray of Light
Meet our fall cover star Caroline Sunshine! She does everything: singing, dancing, and even surfing…
Caroline Sunshine probably has the greatest name in Hollywood and her personality matches too. Full of warm energy and fun, this talented young star has been acting professionally since she finished high school and even landed a main role in the 2010 feature live-action film “Marmaduke.” She was born in Atlanta but currently lives in Southern California where she is busy performing on Disney’s hit teen show Shake It Up. On the show, Caroline plays Tinka, the quirky exchange student who, and along with twin brother Gunther, act as a two-pronged nemesis to the show’s lead female duo of Cece and Rocky. Hailing from a fictional European country, Tinka and Gunther do have a talent for singing and dancing, but often end up embarrassing themselves since they seem to misread every situation. LàTeen got in touch with Ms.Sunshine recently to learn a little more about her and to catch up with her latest news…
Caroline Sunshine: Most of the summer we were filming season 3 of “Shake It Up”, but I do love being outdoors when I have free time. I recently took up mountain climbing and hiking. My goal is to climb Mt. Whitney by the end of summer.
LT: Your show ‘Shake It Up’ was recently renewed for a 3rd season. Was that exciting news? Were you stressed before finding out?
Caroline Sunshine: It’s very exciting. The thrill of it all still hasn’t worn off for me. I wake up in the morning and go, “Wow, I really get to go do this every day? This is so cool”. Our cast and crew work so hard and our fans are the best.
LT: Your character on ‘Shake It Up’, Tinka Hessenheffer is from a country whose name is never mentioned. The mystery is intriguing. Is there a national food from her home country that you can at least tell us about?
Caroline Sunshine: I think we touched on that in an episode from season 1 where Rocky and Cece have dinner with Tinka. She serves “goolasto” which essentially is a goose stuffed inside a llama I think. I’m sure it’s very popular in Tinka’s home country. Our writers always surprise me with the crazy things they have Tinka do and that makes it a lot of fun for me as an actress.
LT: How does playing an exchange student make you feel about the real onesthat populate America’s schools? These poor newcomers have to figure out what the heck is going on in a totally foreign environment.
Caroline Sunshine: Half the time I think Tinka is just like, “What the heck are these people saying?!” She has been in Chicago for so long though that I think she is finally assimilating. I love how she totally dresses however she wants though. Hopefully, all the foreign exchange students out there feel welcomed and free to be themselves wherever they go.
LT: What is it like to star in show like ‘Shake It Up?’ Is it a lot of hard work? What do you find most challenging?
Caroline Sunshine: It’s such an extraordinary show and it’s awesome to see how many people enjoy it around the world. That’s what really motivates us to do each episode. We have a live show every week where our fans get to come watch us tape the show and it’s so great to see that they love what we do. Especially the little “Shake It Up” fans – they are so cute!
LT: You have also done some stage performing during your career. How do you feel about acting on television versus on stage? Do you have a preference for one over the other?
Caroline Sunshine: I was recently in NYC giving a live performance of some of my new music and I saw a billboard for Nick Jonas’ new show on Broadway. It made me realize how much I enjoy stage acting, too. After “Shake It Up” I’d like to transition into music and film and then later into stage acting again.
LT: What is the status of the ‘Shake It Up’ movie you mentioned last time you we featured in LàTeen?
Caroline Sunshine: Our “Shake It Up : Made in Japan” event is coming out soon. We finished filming this past spring and even we haven’t seen a final cut of it! It is incredibly exciting though and I think the fans will really love it.
LT: You said you enjoy surfing. What do you like about it? Do you have a favorite spot?
Caroline Sunshine: Well, like I said, I love being outdoors. I like to surf a bit in my free time. The feeling of being on top of the water is incredible. I’m pretty excited because I just got a Penny board and took up skateboarding too. Davis and Roshon are helping me learn some tricks.
LT: We have to ask, what is origin of your terrific last name?
Caroline Sunshine:Thank you! A lot of people think it’s my stage name but it’s actually really my last name. It’s Hungarian and English. My friends always laugh because when they meet my dad they’re like “Hi, Mr. Sunshine”.
LT: Anything else on your horizon you would to share with our readers?
Caroline Sunshine: I’m really excited for my all my upcoming music. My song “The Star I R” is featured in an upcoming episode of “Shake It Up” and that is so exciting. When I’m not filming or in school I’m at the studio. I’ve always loved all elements of performing and I hope my fans are excited to see another side of me.
Fun Follow Ups!
If you only were on a desert island and could have only one album, what would it be? No Doubt’s “Rock Steady”album
Do you have a fashion role model? Audrey Hepburn and Gwen Stefani
What are you superstitious about? Everything
What’s worse than sitting in traffic? Sitting in traffic with no music
Is there a movie you could watch 1000 times? Legally Blonde
If you could be any animal for a day, what would it be? Honey badger